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China takes 2013's top offshore IPO crown

Cut price rag trader Vipshop bests all other foreign companies listing in the USA

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US-Sino relations may have hit an all-time low over the past 12 months but for little-known Chinese tech firm Vipshop it has been an annus mirabilis after it became the best performing overseas-listed firm in the States.

Vipshop Holdings Limited, which owns the Vipshop.com online shopping site, saw its shares jump a whopping 124 per cent since its March IPO, some way in front of the next best non-US company debuting this year – Israel’s Caesarstone Sdot-Yam, whose shares rose 44 per cent.

The performance of Guangzhou-based Vipshop, which sells discounted fashion brands, is all the more impressive considering Bloomberg’s equity index of the most–traded Chinese shares in the US shows an increase this year of just 6.4 per cent.

It’s been a tough year for Chinese tech firms in the US, culminating in a presidential election dominated by the thorny issue of American jobs going to China and a House of Representatives Intelligence Committee report which labelled (non-US listed) telecoms giants Huawei and ZTE a national security risk.

Things could get worse before they get better for China’s US-listed tech firms, however, after the SEC decided to charge the Chinese affiliates of the Big Four for failing to comply with US securities law.

Some experts have speculated that this could ultimately lead to the de-registering of US-listed Chinese firms including tech giants China Mobile, search firm Baidu and web biz Sina.

That would be a blow to Chinese web giants Taobao and Sogou, which saw their blacklisting on the US Trade Representative’s office roster of Notorious Markets finally wiped after much work over the past year to remove pirated content from their sites. ®

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